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Britons remembering Princess Diana 20 years after fatal car crash

August 31, 8:12 UTC+3 LONDON

The sudden death of Princess Diana brought the world to a standstill in 1997

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Prince William and Prince Harry

Prince William and Prince Harry

© AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

LONDON, August 31. /TASS/. Thursday marks 20 years since Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997), died in a car crash. A representative of Buckingham Palace told TASS that members of the British royal family, including Queen Elizabeth II, do not plan to take part in any public commemorative events to mark this tragic anniversary.

According to Buckingham Palace, no public events related to the anniversary of the princess’ death with the participation of royal family members are planned, the royal family will spend that day privately.

Nevertheless, Diana’s sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, on Wednesday paid tribute to their mother in the memorial White Garden at Kensington Palace, which was the princess’ official residence until her death. They toured the garden designed in memory of Princess Diana looking at the garden’s composition consisting of white flowers - tulips, daffodils and hyacinths as well as palms planted along the perimeter of a rectangular pond.

Meanwhile, admirers of the people’s princess - that’s how Diana will be remembered by millions of Britons - despite the rainy weather in London began bringing her photos and flowers to Kensington Palace gates, the way it was 20 yeas ago. At that time, UK residents paid their last respects to her as national hero. More than one million people took to the streets of London to take a glance at her funeral cortege, while half of the country’s population - over 32 million people - watched the funeral on TV.

The symbol of an era

Diana is rightfully considered one of the symbols of the end of the 20th century. A philanthropist, charity worker and fashion icon, she fascinated many people with her warmth, while straightforwardness was always her distinctive feature. The princess was actively involved in the fight against AIDS, visited HIV-infected patients in hospitals trying to convince the public that people with such a diagnosis should not be treated as outcasts.

Diana did not hesitate to shake hands with them, although at that time there were numerous myths about that virus. Nor did she shun the lepers. She spoke out against the proliferation of antipersonnel landmines, which often afflict civilians.

The people’s princess travelled to Russia in 1995 visiting the Tushino children’s hospital in Moscow and donating medical equipment to it as part of her charity work. During her stay in the Russian capital, she received the International Leonardo Prize, which has been awarded to philanthropists and organizers of humanitarian activities since 1992.

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